Navy reserve drill weekend offers family fun

For his last drill weekend in charge of the Charlotte’s U.S. Navy Reserve Center, Cmdr. Patrick McCaslin decided to try something a little different.

McCaslin – who will retire next month – invited the reserve members’ families to attend part of the drill weekend. A number of reservists were able to spend Saturday morning at the University City YMCA with their children and spouses, playing games and enjoying a food truck.

“It was an opportunity to bring their kids to work, be a little more relaxed,” McCaslin said. “Hopefully it can become a tradition.”

Members of the Navy Reserve are required to attend a drill weekend once a month, in addition to serving two weeks each year. Approximately 300 reservists reported to the center this weekend, coming from Charlotte and surrounding areas.

Including family members offered a chance for reservists’ children and spouses to understand more about what the monthly drill weekend entails, as well as a chance to keep reservists’ morale high, McCaslin said.

The remainder of the weekend’s schedule was taken up with members of different units doing drills and training exercises.

Cmdr. Michael van Poots brought his 10-year-old son, Reed.

“It was neat for him to see what I do on a regular basis,” van Poots said. “All he knew before was that I disappeared one weekend a month.”